Like Toronto's Bruce Peninsula, Band-loving Haligonian septet Bend the River make soulful folk-rock lush with atmospheric backup vocal swells care of Norma MacDonald and Becky Siamon, whose voices blend beautifully.
On their second album, the group try out more ambitious arrangements, speeding up, slowing down and going nuts with organ and tambourine solos. Yet sometimes their efforts sound meandering; Ronok Sarkar's voice and songs often work best when the band keeps things simple and nostalgic, as on stripped-down highlight Half Of My Love.
BTR do country rock well on fast-paced The Hunter In Me - the only song with banjo - while Assassins, with its slow, soft chorus, is most melodic. MacDonald takes lead vocals on torchy This Heart Of Mine, and RJ Donovan sings Dear Old Jackson.
Top track: The Hunter In Me